Strategy // Service Design

Helping A Large Health Insurer Care for Caregivers

Our client enlisted our help in building support systems and experiences for caregivers.

Caregivers are an integral part of the healthcare system. However, many of them are untrained, overwhelmed, and ill-equipped to handle the emotional and physical demands of caring for an elderly friend or family member. As a consequence, caregivers are six times more likely to suffer depressive or anxious symptoms than the general population.

To date, caregivers have been overlooked by insurance companies, who have traditionally struggled to provide services and support to non-members. However, when our client realized the proportion of caregivers who were completing satisfaction surveys on behalf of members, they decided to better involve this important healthcare stakeholder.

In order to more effectively support this integral healthcare stakeholder, we were asked to help our client prioritize the vast and varied needs of caregivers, identify their pain-points in working with health plans and payers,  and build a pilot program.


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 1 in 3 Americans are caregivers. Most caregivers also have other jobs and spend an average of 24 hours a week caring for a loved one, while others serve as care-givers full time. With such an immense variety of caregivers, all with differing needs, we developed a large body of research that included conversations with experts, internal stakeholders, long-time caregivers, new caregivers, and long-distance caregivers.

Combined with a wealth of secondary research, we were able to identify six primary caregiver need states to help build the pilot. These needs include finding credible and trustworthy community resources, long-distance caregiving, dealing with advanced illness, and end-of-life care.

In just over a month, our cross-functional team developed a future experience and a number of potential solutions, from which two—a website and a helpline— were selected to create a multichannel support service for caregivers. Next, Rêve built a fully-functional website for the pilot, including content and full brand development. We collaborated with our client to develop a full pilot plan that outlined various roles and responsibilities, legal and regulatory check-points, a measurement framework, and an extensive marketing plan. We then helped our client launch the website and phone line, while building internal support via presentations and collateral, such as an empathy-building video, desk drops and signage throughout our clients’ campus. This helped built awareness of the brand-new initiative among 3,500 employees.

Our pilot program consists of a multi-channel experience that connects caregivers to curated resources specific to their needs. Caregivers can access this information and the provided tools online or through a caregiver helpline. Through step-by-step instructions, free resources, and comprehensive checklists, caregivers are now empowered to better deliver care themselves or find the support they need. Lastly, these resources help caregivers navigate the regulatory complexity of working with their loved one’s insurance company and better understand the vast resources already provided under their health plans.

Key Activities
Research + Ideation

// In-depth 1:1 caregiver interviews
// Intercept interviews
// Expert interviews
// Community partner interviews
// Mobile ethnography + diary study
// Caregiver surveys
// Internal stakeholder interviews

Prototyping + Feedback

// Wireframing
// Website development
// Service staging
// Call center scripting
// Digital and in-person caregiver feedback
// Partner evaluation

Activation + Implementation

// Service blueprinting
// Outlined Roles and Responsibilities
// Marketing strategy and channel ROI
// Marketing collateral
// Key measures and metrics